Morning State Sports Briefs: Ilyasova re-ups with the Bucks for the next five yearsWisconsin Sports
-- The Milwaukee Bucks will keep Ersan Ilyasova.
MILWAUKEE - The Milwaukee Bucks will keep Ersan Ilyasova. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel said the free-agent forward has agreed to a five-year contract worth $45-million.
Free agents cannot sign new deals until Wednesday, after a two-week NBA negotiating period ends. The 6-10 Ilyasova had a breakout season for the Bucks this year, averaging 13 points a game with nine rebounds and around one-point-two assists. And he finished second in the voting as the NBA’s most improved player. He was Milwaukee’s top rebounder after Andrew Bogut went down with an ankle injury and was later traded to Golden State. The 25-year-old Ilyasova, a native of Turkey, had also drawn interest from Toronto, the Brooklyn Nets, and several European teams. He played for two years in Spain after the Bucks drafted him in 2005. He returned to Milwaukee three seasons ago. The Bucks reportedly made a strong effort to re-sign Ilyasova. The Journal-Sentinel said his new contracts puts the Bucks over their 58-million dollar salary cap – but he can still get players through trades and salary exceptions. Milwaukee also has its full mid-level exception of five-million-dollars to use. The Bucks still have a cap-hold on forward Carlos Delfino, but media reports have raised doubts about whether he’ll return this fall.
The winner was not the only one to take a bow during yesterday’s trophy presentation at the U.S. Women’s Open in Kohler. Herbert Kohler – who has brought championship golf to Wisconsin five times in the last 14 years – was praised by players, fans, and the United States Golf Association for the way the Open turned out at Blackwolf Run. Na Yeon Choi of South Korea, who won the tournament by four strokes, said she loved the course – and she’d love to play Kohler’s other courses as well. The USGA did not release attendance figures, but Kohler said he was happy with the crowds all week considering the massive heat wave that did not let up until this past weekend. He said he trouble getting through the crowd during yesterday’s final round. After the trophy ceremony, Kohler said he’d like the Women’s Open to become a mainstay at Blackwolf Run. Jim Richerson, the director of golf for the Kohler Company, said negotiations continue with the both the USGA and the PGA about holding tournaments well into the future. Whistling Straits has already secured the 2015 PGA Championship and the 2020 Ryder Cup. Kohler has also hosted the PGA in both 2004 and 2010, the 2007 U.S. Senior Open, and the 1998 Women’s Open.
Zack Greinke says he’ll be excited about making history on Friday night, when he’s scheduled to start the Milwaukee Brewers’ first game after the All-Star break. Manager Ron Roenicke confirmed yesterday that Greinke will get the start against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Miller Park. If it happens, the right-hander will become the first pitcher since 1917 to start three consecutive games in the same season. Greinke only threw four pitches on Saturday when he got booted for throwing a ball to the ground in anger. He said he was mad at himself for not responding quickly enough to first base to cover a grounder made by first baseman Corey Hart on a diving stop. Greinke returned yesterday, and gave up three runs in three innings in a no-decision – and he realized he put first base umpire Sam Holbrook in a tough situation. There’s been no public speculation that Greinke would be suspended – so he plans to go against the Pirates. He says he’ll consider it a record, even though it’s been done twice before. And Greinke says he hopes the results will be better. He took the loss on Saturday, but he remains unbeaten at Miller Park during his season-and-a-half as a Brewer. Red Faber made three starts on two consecutive days in 1917. Sam McDowell also made three consecutive starts – but they spanned over the 1965-and-’66 seasons.
Don’t be surprised if the Helena Brewers are still trying to recover from a wild game on Saturday. Milwaukee’s entry in the Pioneer Rookie League scored 17 runs in the first inning against a rookie squad from the Kansas City Royals. The Brewers sent 23 men to the plate in that frame with 12 hits, five walks, and a hit batsman. They were helped by two errors, and the Royals made two pitching changes during that time. Five Helena Brewers had three at-bats in the first inning alone. Jose Pena singled twice and doubled – and Milwaukee’s first round draft choice, Clint Coulter, had two singles in that inning. The Royals didn’t give up. They batted 10 men in the bottom of the first, and scored six times. The Brewers won the game 23-to-8. They also won yesterday, 6-2. Raul Mondesi Jr. homered for Helena. His father played 16 years in the Majors, and was the National League’s rookie-of-the-year in 1994 with the LA Dodgers.
Four teams are in first place in the Western Division of the Class-“A” Midwest League. Kane County, Burlington, Clinton, and Quad Cities all start the day at 10-7 for the second half – two games ahead of both Beloit and Wisconsin, which wrapped up playoff berths in the first half. A similar log-jam exists atop the Eastern Division, where Bowling Green, Fort Wayne, and first-half champion Lansing are all at 10-7. South Bend is a game back at 9-8. The Wisconsin Timber Rattlers will host Kane County this afternoon, in the wake of a 10-0 Rattlers’ rout of the Cougars yesterday. The Beloit Snappers will host Burlington again tonight, on the heels of a 5-3 loss. Two other afternoon games are scheduled in the Midwest League – Peoria at Cedar Rapids, and Lansing at West Michigan. Tonight, Clinton plays at Quad Cities. Bowling Green hosts Lake County. Dayton entertains Great Lakes. And Fort Wayne is at South Bend.
It’s Day-Four of the International Cycling Classic – and so far, all the action has been in the Chicago area. Today’s event is the Chicago Dough Criterium in Richton Park, Illinois. No results were immediately available from yesterday’s event, the Mill Race Cyclery Classic in Geneva Illinois. Richard Baxter of South Africa kicked off the 17-day Super-week series by winning the top men’s race on Friday, the Beverly Hills Cycling Classic in Chicago. The Super-week series does not arrive in Wisconsin until Thursday, when Beloit hosts a race for the first time – the Downtown Beloit Criterium.
Madison golfer Jerry Kelly tied for 12th place at the PGA’s Greenbrier Classic. Kelly shot a two-under 68 in his final round yesterday to finish 10-under for the tournament at 270. Steve Stricker of Madison tied for 22nd, after finishing at eight-under-272. He also shot two-under in his fourth-and-final round at the Old White TPC Course in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Ted Potter Junior won the tournament in a three-hole playoff over Troy Kelly. Both were at 16-under at the end of regulation.
In the Midwest League…
Wisconsin 10, Kane County 0
Burlington 5, Beloit 3
Clinton 5, Quad Cities 0
Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 0
South Bend 3, Fort Wayne 1
Lansing 5, West Michigan 3
Dayton 6, Great Lakes 3
Bowling Green 7, Lake County 5
In the Northwoods League…
Battle Creek 6, La Crosse 1
Duluth 6, Saint Cloud 5
Willmar 16, Rochester 9
Thunder Bay 7, Alexandria 2
Mankato 10, Waterloo 8